You Are Mine by Janeal Falor

Serena knows a few simple things. She will always be owned by a warlock. She will never have freedom. She will always do what her warlock wishes, regardless of how inane, frivolous, or cruel it is. And if she doesn’t follow the rules, she will be tarnished. Spelled to be bald, inked, and barren for the rest of her life, worth less than the shadow she casts.

Then her ownership is won by a barbarian from another country. With the uncertainty that comes from belonging to a new warlock, Serena questions if being tarnished is really worse than being owned by a barbarian, and tempts fate by breaking the rules. When he looks the other way instead of punishing her, she discovers a new world. The more she ventures into the forbidden, the more she learns of love and a freedom just out of reach. Serena longs for both. But in a society where women are only ever property, hoping for more could be deadly.

Serena lives in a world where she'll always be owned, where woman are second class citizens, treated as mere possessions. Being one of many of the Councilman's daughters, Serena must ensure the harsh testing to determine the measure of magic she carries, the higher the magical properties, the more esteemed title, wealth and power her new owner, or husband, will hold. Whoever decides to purchase Serena, she must deliver. She is but a poorly treated trophy, catering to her husband's every whim, and to bare children so that she may give him the illusive son and future warlock of Chardonia that is expected of her. She's seventeen, brimming with magic, and has just been purchased by Thomas, a powerful warlock with money and influence. Serena isn't ready to become a wife or mother, even if only to escape her father. 

In a barbaric display of power during the Tournament, Thomas is killed by the hulking Envadi, Zade. Zade has just inherited the fortune, title and possessions that Thomas has left behind, including Serena. But Zade is unlike any of her previous owners, no matter how short lived, he's quiet, reserved and far removed from the barbaric nature given to the Envadi culture. He isn't quick to spell or hex her as her father does, nor does he touch Serena as Thomas had. In fact... He shows little interest in Serena at all, going about his meetings as a newly found Chancellor, courtesy of Thomas and his fallen empire.

Serena uses her new found freedom to rebel against The Woman's Canon, rules and guidelines of etiquette and the female role. Befriending a seamstress servant, wearing society's version of inappropriate attire and gorging on chocolate. But Serena's father is determined to regain possession of her, no daughter of his shall be seen with an Envadi. The feeble attempts on Zade's life prove worthless, her father's plan to oust him from the Chancellor's seat, ridding his ownership of Serena.

Zade won't treat Serena or any female with the firm hand that the male dominated society expects, but needs to appear to be in control, as Serena's father sends one of his servants to work as her tarnished assistant and report any misgivings back to the councilman. Zade recruits a young Envadi woman to become a paid servant, it isn't until then that Serena realises that she has started to develop feelings for the gentle giant. As the weeks pass closer to their pending nuptials, Serena's bid for freedom becomes bolder, and so too does the danger it poses to Zade's life. The council want to silence his alternative views, setting an example to those tarnished who are calling for a revolution, and threatening councilmen.

But there is far more to Zade than the kind hearted giant Serena believes him to be. He wants to bring change, he wanted to save Serena from the cruel hand of her father and for the tarnished law to be abolished... But until he learns to trust Serena, she'll never find out who he really is.

I really enjoyed You Are Mine, and it pleasantly exceeded my expectations. It's well written and thrusts you in a cruel and unjust world for women, where they are treated like a possession, something to be used and abused. Serena is the main protagonist, and we see the world through her rebellious eyes. She doesn't want to be anyone's wife, she's not ready to bare children, and she certainly does not want to be owned. But in her world, women don't have choices, just Master's.

The Councilmen will bring out the feminist in most readers, especially that of Serena's father. My only complaint is that Serena seemed more competent than Zade, and I was hoping that his character would have been more rebellious, but I'm assuming that You Are Mine, was only an introduction to his heroics.

A mix of fantasy, paranormal, dystopian and romance. It will appeal to a wide variety of young adult readers. I look forward to reading the next in the series.

You Are Mine
(Mine: Book One)
Written By Janeal Falor
Published 06 / 06/ 2013
273 Pages

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